Fashion Weeks

Julien Fournié AW 23-24 Haute Couture 'First Shield'

Julien Fournié has launched his counterattack on style and fashion design, a real call to resist fake trends with elegance and creativity.

Defender of feminine values (diplomacy rather than conquest, humor rather than aggression, seduction rather than submission), the French couturier asserts more than ever that women are the only real shield to protect mankind from all the outbursts of masculinity that are endangering it with war and violence.

The French couturier achieves this by diverting the medals, trimmings and other ornaments from military pageantry on his outfits in a festive spirit. The officers’ braid silk trimmings and shoulder pads are displaying new colors, tassels are replacing medals, the stars in the generals' caps are invading the dresses for the the human race’s true defenders.

First playing on extremely feminized men's outfits (over-embroidered tuxedo, belts with pockets, silk jersey separates, upcycled military pants and shirts, a revisited First World War soldier coat), Julien Fournié plays with army codes to bring out the shimmer of ladies. Embroideries literally attack, gain ground, and invade precious fabrics.

A battle of glitter takes place between the elaborate weaving of silk and lurex devoured by embroidery. Elsewhere, “cannetille”, a metal thread, adorns the collar of “oversize” jackets in silk dupioni, velvet or satin.

 Loose coats stand out for their volume. Some are reminiscent of kimonos. The "flash" liners reveal the light they hide inside. Julien Fournié does not deny himself any inspiration, neither geographical nor historical. He has fun with chain mail (for certain embroidery) as well as with the 19th century frog fastenings of uniforms, with Samurai gear and 20th century wars soldiers’ outfits, with men's riding-coats and crinolines.

A dress with a cut inspired by the 1930s allows a casual behavior thanks to hidden pockets and a matching "boyish" jacket. The rich pewter-colored ensemble is entirely embroidered with crystal pearls and gunmetal thread.

The hands in the pockets casual demeanor is found on many dresses. "It's the look of today's girls, with more freedom on the way," says the designer. “They can roll up the tails of their jackets and move on, with their bag or pouch under their arm, like soldiers carry a weapon in combat."

Khaki, lagoon blue, pink gold, purple, red make up the color palette of the season without forgetting black. Some shades are treated by Julien Fournié in a gradient, others in the almost disco glitter of lurex, further accentuated by shiny matching umbrellas.

 As an advocate of diversity, the couturier chooses his models to show his universal purpose: mixed-race, Asian and European, the Julien Fournié ladies transcend borders as much as they make fun of preconceptions. But what is left for men? Romain Brau, a French actor and singer with magnificent red hair, suggests a way: accepting a 19th century crinoline under a large black silk dress with a plunging neckline on his man's chest.

All this gives rise to a contest in which each one competes in style with the next to combine the pleasure of appearing with the audacity of being oneself.

The bride, an archangel of sweetness, appears in her immaculate white silk coat, and reveals a dress adorned with dazzling silver stars. Sure, with her crystal crown, she is coming from another galaxy to transcend all the conflicts of the universe and remind mankind that we are only made of stardust.

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Photos: Courtesy of Julien Fournié